Rain Garden—A Solution to Urban Flooding: A Review

  • OsheenEmail author
  • K. K. Singh
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 30)


Rain gardens or bioretention systems are the best storm water management practices, which use natural processes of the hydrological cycle such as infiltration and evapotranspiration. Rain gardens were first coined for residential use in 1990 in Prince George’s County, Maryland which was an alternative to the conventional system of sidewalks and gutters. However, countries like Japan, China, Australia and U.S.A. are encouraging the use of rain garden these days for the sustainable development of the country. From the last few decades, the world is witnessing harmful results of urbanization. This has led to a rapid increase in impervious land cover and deterioration of the quality of the ecosystem. The impervious surface of concrete and asphalt seal the soil layers and causes excessive surface runoff, which leads to the problem of urban flooding. Also, chemical and oils falling from vehicles on roads get washed away with storm water and enters the natural water bodies leading to their pollution. Rain garden reduces and delays the flood peaks as well as helps in groundwater recharge and enhances the biodiversity. Moreover, its vegetation works as a filter media for storm water treatment. Rain garden is a low impact development (LID) technique having a long-term performance and is aesthetically pleasing. This paper quotes the benefits and chronological order of implementation of bioretention systems in urban cities having the problem of storm water management with an aim to create awareness among scientific communities.


Rain garden Flooding Urbanization BMPs Storm water 


  1. Aravena JE, Dussaillant A (2009) Storm-water infiltration and focused recharge modeling with finite-volume two-dimensional richards equation: application to an experimental rain garden. J Hydraul Eng 135(12):1073–1080Google Scholar
  2. Bratieres K, Fletcher TD, Deletic A, Zinger Y (2008) Nutrient and sediment removal by storm water biofilters: a large-scale design optimization study. Water Res 4214:3930–3940CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Carpenter DD, Hallam L (2010) Influence of planting soil mix characteristics on bioretention cell design and performance. J Hydrol Eng 15(6):404–416Google Scholar
  4. Champagne P (2008) Wetlands. Natural processes and systems for hazardous waste treatment. ASCE, Reston, Va., pp 189–256Google Scholar
  5. Coffman L, Green R, Clar M, Bitter S (1993a) Design considerations associated with bioretention practices. In: Proceedings of 20th anniversary conference on water management in the ‘90s. ASCE, Reston, Va., pp 130–133Google Scholar
  6. Coffman L, Green R, Clar M, Bitter S (1993b) Development of bioretention practices for storm-water management. In: Proceedings 20th anniversary conference on water management in the ‘90s. ASCE, Reston, Va., pp 126–129Google Scholar
  7. Cosgrove JFJ, Bergstrom JD (2004) Design and construction of biofiltration basins: lessons learned. In: Proceedings of 2003 world water and environmental resources congress. ASCE, Reston, Va., p 323Google Scholar
  8. Dietz ME, Clausen JC (2005) A field evaluation of rain garden flow and pollutant treatment. Water Air Soil Pollut 167(1–4):123–138Google Scholar
  9. Dussaillant AR, Wu CH, Potter KW (2004) Richard’s equation model of a rain garden. J Hydrol Eng 93:219–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Heasom W, Traver RG, Welker A (2006) Hydrologic modeling of a bioinfiltration best management practice. J Am Water Resour Assoc 425:1329–1347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hess A, Wadzuk B, Walker A (2016) Evapotranspiration in rain gardens using weighing lysimeters. ASCE, J Irrig Drain EngGoogle Scholar
  12. Hong E, Seagren EA, Davis AP (2006) Sustainable oil and grease removal from synthetic storm water runoff using bench-scale bioretention studies. Water Environ Res 782:141–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hunt WF, Smith JT, Jadlocki SJ, Hathaway JM, Eubanks PR (2008) Pollutant removal and peak flow mitigation by a bioretention cell in urban Charlotte, N.C. J Environ Eng 1345:403–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ishimatsa K, Ito K, Mitani Y, Tanaka Y, Sugahara T, Naka Y (2016) Use of rain gardens for stormwater management in urban design and planning. Landscape Ecol. SpringerGoogle Scholar
  15. Le Coustumer S, Fletcher TD, Deletic A, Barraud S (2007) Hydraulic performance of biofilters for storm water management: first lessons from both laboratory and field studies. Water Sci Technol 56(10):93–100Google Scholar
  16. Li J, Li Y, Li Y (2016) SWMM-based evaluation of the effect of rain gardens on urbanized areas. Environ Earth Sci 75:17Google Scholar
  17. Li J, Li Y, Shen B, Li YJ (2014) Simulation of rain garden effects in urbanized area based on SWMM. J Hydroelectr Eng 33:60–67Google Scholar
  18. Lucas WC (2008) Continuous simulation of integrated bioretention-infiltration systems for urban retrofits. In: International low impact development conference 2008. ASCEGoogle Scholar
  19. McPherson TN, Burian SJ, Turin HJ, Stenstrom MK, Suffet IH (2002) Comparison of the pollutant loads in dry and wet weather runoff in a southern California urban watershed. Water Sci Technol 459:255–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Morzaria-Luna HN, Schaepe KS, Cutforth LB, Veltman RL (2004) Implementation of bioretention systems: a Wisconsin case study. J Am Water Resour Assoc 40(4):1053–1061Google Scholar
  21. Poresky AL, Allen VP, Reynolds SK (2016) Biofiltration equivalency: assessing the relative performance of innovative and conventional designs. In: World environmental and water resources congress 2016. ASCEGoogle Scholar
  22. Prince George’s County (1993) Design manual for use of bioretention in storm water management. PGC, Maryland, Department of Environmental Protection, Watershed Protection Branch, Landover, MdGoogle Scholar
  23. Prince George’s County PGC (2007) Bioretention manual. PGC, Maryland, Department of Environmental Resources, Environmental Services Div., Landover, MdGoogle Scholar
  24. Rusciano GM, Obropta CC (2007) Bioretention column study: fecal coliform and total suspended solids reductions. Trans ASABE 504:1261–1269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Swain S, Nandi S, Patel P (2017) Application of SPI, EDI and PNPI using MSWEP precipitation data over Marathwada, India. In: 2017 IEEE International geoscience and remote sensing symposium (IGARSS), pp 355–357, IEEEGoogle Scholar
  26. Swain S, Verma MK, Verma MK (2018a) Streamflow estimation using SWAT model over Seonath river basin, Chhattisgarh, India. In: Singh V, Yadav S, Yadava R (eds) Hydrologic modeling. Water Sci Tech Lib 81:659–665Google Scholar
  27. Swain S, Nandi S, Patel P (2018b) Development of an ARIMA model for monthly rainfall forecasting over Khordha district, Odisha, India. In: Sa P, Bakshi S, Hatzilygeroudis I, Sahoo M (eds) Recent findings in intelligent computing techniques. Advances Int Sys Comput 708:325–331Google Scholar
  28. Tang S, Luo W, Jia Z, Liu W, Li S, Wu Y (2016) Evaluating retention capacity of infiltration rain gardens and their potential effect on urban stormwater management in the sub-humid loess region of China. Water Resour Manage 30(3):983–1000Google Scholar
  29. Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (2008) Performance evaluation of permeable pavement and a bioretention swale—Seneca College, King City, Ontario, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  30. USEPA (1999) Preliminary data summary of urban storm water best management practices. Rep. No. EPA-821-R-99–012, USEPA, Office of Water, Washington, D.CGoogle Scholar
  31. USEPA (2003) National primary drinking water standards. Rep. No.EPA-816-F-03–016, USEPA, Office of Water, Washington, D.CGoogle Scholar
  32. Verma M, Verma MK, Swain S (2016) Statistical analysis of precipitation over Seonath river basin, Chhattisgarh, India. Int J Appl Eng Res 11(4):2417–2423Google Scholar
  33. WDNR (2004) Technical note for sizing infiltration basins and bioretention devices to meet state of Wisconsin storm water infiltration performance standards, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WisGoogle Scholar
  34. Yuan J, Dunnett N, Stovin V (2017) The influence of vegetation on rain garden hydrological performance. Urban Water J 14(10):1083–1089Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringNIT, KurukshetraKurukshetraIndia

Personalised recommendations